Monday, January 11, 2010

Further notes on exceptional parenting: The "Prone to Biffing" Edition

$2500 and three years into the project, we still have not convinced Kid that he will ski with us. We have purchased him pricey Mojo Spawn skis primarily because he thought the name was funny. We have allowed him to plaster his helmet with demonic goat faces because he quite enjoys the idea of looking like a radical boarder with some serious attitude. He has been bribed with junk food. We have reasoned with him. We have procured private lessons.

It's a no-go.

Perhaps it's because he saw this:

Perhaps he fears that magical pixie monkeys will snatch him mid-air.

Perhaps he knows himself to be one of those people who are overcome with the urge to jump when they find themselves in high places.

Perhaps in another life he was a sea anemone or a winkie beetle or some other form of life seriously out of place on a chairlift.

What is certain, however, is that he has now talked THREE different instructors out of making him get on that lift. He is like the tiny Saruman of the slopes.

So yesterday, after finishing up his four hours of lessons, we were not entirely surprised to hear that he had not, in fact, gone up on the chair--despite being bribed with the thing he loves best in the world: Puffles. If you don't know what those are, you are among the blessed and I'm not going to wreck that for you. So then I says to him, I says: "Well, looks like no stuffies for you." At which point, Kid falls to the snow, SCREAMING and BEATING HIS HANDS and KICKING HIS FEET and ROLLING AROUND and YELLING and RENDING HIS CLOTHES and CASTING ASHES UPON HIS HEAD.

The entire hill went silent and watched. The lifts ceased operation. The bar band stopped its hideous ruination of the Top 40 of 1976. I imagine some people thought to themselves: "Say, I've seen that woman in the mango skisuit before. Last year, she forced some poor kid to get on the chairlift when he didn't want to. Tsk-tsk-tsk." (Note to self: buy less standy-outy skiwear next year.) The part of me that is still in denial about parenthood looked on from above and muttered "Well, now, that's quite the spectacle that young man is making. I wonder which one is his mother. I bet she's horrid."

I wish I had some zinger to finish this story up with. Unfortunately, I was then and am now too tired to know what to say, what to do, which of the angry tiki gods I have pissed off this time and therefore which vertebrate to sacrifice. I turned my back and left the small screaming person to do his screaming in the presence of his father, who is dark enough of complexion not to blush furiously when humiliated in public by the complete system failure that is his (our) parenting.

1 comment:

  1. That is not failure, that is right on track developmentally. One of mine, who I will not name, was given a "this is your last chance" warning once. Then he blew it. Then I said "You are out of chances,Mister!" (not my best dialogue) and then he channelled a 1930's film diva:

    My chance, my chance I lost my chaaaaaannnnnce!
    I had my chance and I lost it, I lost it, I lost my chaaaaannnnnnce!
    I have no chance, no chance, I looooooost it!
    I had a chance and now I dooooooon't! It is loooooooost!
    My chance, my chance, my long lost chance!

    Each sentence fading off as he ran out of breath. Each sentence beginning with a huge gasp so he could drag those vowels up the stairs and to his room with him.

    I have found it does not help them to point out all the ways the current drama could have been avoided. The many chances along the way. How this pain they are experiencing was a choice they made. It does not help them. But it helps me so I do it anyway!

    The parenting patrol looking down on you saw the ski hill, checked their list, and put another tally mark next to "giant tantrum over nothing" and mumbled to themselves that you are half way there my, Dear.